By now, many of you know that I have a complete disdain for how college football decides its national champion. It is almost laughable that such a popular sport can leave so many fans disappointed each year by having a mythical national crown.
The Bowl Championship Series is certainly not the answer. Sure, with this system it is possible for there to be two teams that seem most worthy of playing for the national title. When this occurs, however, it is simply by chance - not because it is a terrific system.
I use the example of riding down the road on four bald tires that could blow out at any minute. Each time you drive, there is a chance that you could crash, but most times you will arrive home safely. Who would take this kind of risk?
College football takes a chance every year with this flawed and out-of-date system. Every other level of football uses a playoff.
For years, the executives with the NCAA said that it would cause teams to play too many games (they wanted teams to play 11 times each year). Georgia Tech will play 14 games this season with no playoff system in place.
Bottom line: Major changes need to take place. Here is how the college football season would wind down if I were in charge:
A 16-team playoff system would take the conference champions from the top six conferences (ACC, SEC, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac 10 and Big East).
Two at-large teams also will be taken according to the Bowl Championship Series standings. These eight teams would be given home-field advantage in round one of the playoffs. Their opponents would be the next eight teams according to rank in the Bowl Championship Series. That way, the championship is still used as a component, but conference championships would be even more important.
From there, the 16 teams would use a playoff format to decide (on the field) a true national champ. As it stands today, here is what my system would look like:
Round One, Dec. 16
No. 1 Ohio State (Big Ten) vs.
No. 16 West Virginia
No. 2 USC (Pac 10) vs.
No. 15 Virginia Tech
No. 3 Michigan (at-large) vs.
No. 14 Rutgers
No. 4 Florida (SEC) vs.
No. 13 Auburn
No. 5 Louisville (Big East) vs.
No. 12 Arkansas
No. 6 Notre Dame (at-large) vs.
No. 11 Boise State
No. 7 Oklahoma (Big 12) vs.
No. 10 Wisconsin
No. 8 Georgia Tech (ACC) vs.
No. 9 LSU
Round Two, Dec. 23
(assuming top seeds win)
These games would incorporate the championship bowls
No. 1 Ohio State vs. No. 8 Georgia Tech (Orange Bowl)
No. 2 USC vs. No. 7 Oklahoma (Rose Bowl)
No. 3 Michigan vs. No. 6 Notre Dame (Fiesta Bowl)
No. 4 Florida vs. No. 5 Louisville (Sugar Bowl)
Round Three, Dec. 30 (assuming top seeds win). Final Four-type setup to be played at same site.
No. 1 Ohio State vs. No. 4 Florida
No. 2 USC vs. No. 3 Michigan (wow - what a game)
Championship Game, Monday Jan. 8 (same date as this year's title game)
Ohio State vs. USC (of course any, of the 16 teams could be here)
This system would decide things on the field - the way it should be.
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